Ireland’s midfielder James McClean said that it is unfair to criticize his side for the 5-1 loss to Denmark in the World Cup qualification play-offs as Christian Eriksen stunned the home side by scoring a hattrick.
McClean admitted that his side just weren’t good enough to eliminate Denmark but they simply don’t deserve a treatment like that as they managed to finish second in their group ahead of Wales and Austria. The hosts came from behind and put an amazing performance in Dublin so they became the last team from Europe to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.
The midfielder seemed to be a bit disappointed with the angry reactions by their own fans as he wrote on his Instagram, according to Sky Sports: “Last night is going to hurt deeply for a long long time, nothing can change or make what happened last night right, of course, everyone is entitled to voice their opinion because it was simply not good enough from us on the night, we know that ourselves.”
He continued: “But to stick the boot in and kick players and staff when they are down (players and staff [who] have been great servants to this country, players and staff that have qualified for a major tournament and was unlucky to be knocked out to a great team in the last 16, players and staff that were a game from making it to a World Cup, players and staff that would give anything for this great country!) with some over the top beyond football comments is bang out of order, hurting or not.”
In the end, McClain insisted that he is proud to be a part of his team and his teammates are not the ones to blame: “And trust me when I say this we hurt every bit as much as you do. I am proud and honoured to be an Irish man and to call every one of these men fellow countrymen and team-mates! Like a said this will hurt deep, we have been written off so many times before and just like before we will bounce back!”